"Capitalism is an art form, an Apollonian fabrication to rival nature. It is hypocritical for feminists and intellectuals to enjoy the pleasures and conveniences of capitalism while sneering at it. Everyone born into capitalism has incurred a debt to it. Give Caesar his due."
- Camille Paglia

State of gamers' hardware
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Permalink

As we enter 2011 it's interesting to once again look at what the average gamer has in his system. A continuing trend is the decline of WinXP in favor of primarily Win7, but to some extent also to Vista. This drop has flattened a bit the last couple of months though. The other trend is that all 64-bit OSes gain and all 32-bit drop. As 2010 closes we land on fairly round numbers. Out of four gamers on Steam two use Window 7, and one on Vista and XP respectively. Two run 64-bit. Three has DX10 systems. 9 of 10 has two or more cores.

In conclusion, for any new AAA title beginning development now there appears to be no reason to aim lower than DX10 and dual/quad core. In a year or so when such a title is released the number of people remaining on XP who buys AAA titles will be a tiny fraction. Quad-core will likely outnumber dual-core machines, although there will likely be a substantial portion of the gamers left on dual-core at that time. It's probably a bit early to go 64-bit exclusive, but looking over a two year development cycle it might be a reasonable thing to do.

After the huge initial success of Steam on Mac it's been sliding back to a 4-5% range, a fair bit lower than overall Mac market share. This was somewhat expected since Mac has no real history as a serious gaming platform, so it's likely that fewer Mac owners are gamers. Steam on Mac is still new though, so it will be interesting to come back in a year or two and see if any of that has changed.

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blah
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mac is now a serious gaming platform. The userbase just fails to realize how much Steve Jobs is gaming them for their money.

Gnome
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Since the survey is monthly it may be that the slide in mac steam share has a lot to do with the slow trickle of releases the platform sees. In all of December there were only 10 game releases on steam for the platform, none of them "major". I think there are many mac gamers but with so few releases it provides a lot less incentive to constantly be on the service. A smaller catalog overall also means less reasons to be on as a player on a regular basis.

The initial boom of being close to 9% is likely pretty accurate to what sales boost a major release could see on steam with a mac release.